Main definitions of playa in English

: playa1playa2

playa1

noun

  • An area of flat, dried-up land, especially a desert basin from which water evaporates quickly.

    • ‘This shrimp inhabits ephemeral habitats such as natural playas and human-made cattle tanks in the southwestern United States.’
    • ‘Deluded, dehydrated, mad, Heck wandered toward a tree at the edge of the playa, across the railroad tracks, and approached Trego hot springs.’
    • ‘The sedimentary environment was a broad, flat floodplain with meandering streams and numerous shallow lakes or playas that could have become alkaline or saline during drier times.’
    • ‘Suddenly I was on the barren playas of Tierra del Fuego, the broiling ground belching huge clouds of sulfurous gases into the heavy atmosphere.’
    • ‘Moreover, in most cases, only a few prey taxa occurred in playas during spring, whereas 10-15 taxa commonly occurred in playas during fall.’
    • ‘This landscape of jagged mountains, desert playas, and massive canyons has yielded woolly-mammoth skeletons and still bears the wagon ruts and axle-grease graffiti of the pioneers.’
    • ‘Many streams in the world's arid and semiarid regions run only intermittently and empty into broad, undrained basins known as playas, where they deposit their sediment and dissolved minerals.’
    • ‘The little-known magnificent wildlands of Nevada are typified in this remote wilderness of rugged canyons and broad desert playas.’
    • ‘All four species apparently do not select prey items on the basis of the nutritional or energetic quality of a prey item, but rather select prey items on the basis of which prey item is most abundant in a playa.’
    • ‘Because playas typically dried before the end of the migration period, we replaced dried playas with randomly selected playas from the group of 60 playas.’
    • ‘They further suggest that the numerous shallow lakes, or playas, in the Brushy Basin could be up to 5-10 miles across.’
    • ‘Volcanic cones, lava flows, alluvial fans where canyons blend to valley floors, and playas where there were once Pleistocene lakes, add to a sense of active, sometimes violent geological processes at work.’
    • ‘Typically, the basins are internally drained, resulting in the formation of saline ephemeral lakes known as playas.’
    • ‘This week I've spent 40 minutes sitting in my living room (and a few minutes in class) pretending I'm back at Burning Man, sitting in the sun outside camp, gazing across the dusty playa.’
    • ‘In some deserts, salty flats or ephemeral lakes or playas with marginal sabkhas occur.’
    • ‘Preference of relatively small prey by avocets and dowitchers was likely a function of small prey being more abundant in playas than large prey.’
    • ‘We collected invertebrates from the benthos and water column of 20 playas during spring and fall 1993 and 1994.’
    • ‘Intermixed with the peaks are dark, flat areas that might be lakes or playas (dry lake beds).’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from Spanish, literally beach from late Latin plagia.

Main definitions of playa in English

: playa1playa2

playa2

noun